There are 147 million registered users on eBay, and tens of millions of those are desperately fighting to make sales on eBay. When trying to make their auction listings as powerful as possible, many sellers use ill-advised tactics. They think that if they entertain buyers, they are more likely to get a sale. And as the Internet becomes more multi-media, there are many temptations thrown in our way, especially the use of sound.
Using background music or sounds, unless you're selling music, is probably a bad idea. If you are going to include music or even an audio product pitch, you are wise to include a command panel that will allow the viewer to listen or not as she pleases. Do not! Do not! Do not! set up your auction listing so that a potential customer is greeted with loud music as soon as they click on your page. Here's why:
1. Potential buyers are there to see your Gucci handbag or Oakley sunglasses, not to be entertained. Making a buying decision is serious business and you to do not want to take their attention away from your merchandise. Instead, the entire focus of your page should be directed at whatever you are selling. Music is simply a distraction.
2. At this time, we cannot count on the quality of audio technology. Buyers have different browsers, different connections and possibly antiquated equipment. Even worse than unwanted music is unwanted music that sounds terrible, that is scratchy, too loud or of awful quality.
3. You will most likely not know what kind of music your perspective buyer wants to hear. If you are selling to teens you can be reasonably certain that they do not want to hear Big Band music. But can you know whether they prefer Eminem or Travis Twitt? Obviously not.
4. Consider the situation of your buyer. He might be prowling eBay while he is at work and is not supposed to be surfing the net. Sudden blaring music as the Vice-President of the company walks by is the last thing he wants. Or a Mom might have just gotten her colicky baby to sleep and when your music wakes up a cranky infant you can be certain you will never get a sale from that irate parent.
5. Audio files take longer to download than text. If your prospective customer has dialup instead of a high-speed connection, they will most likely be gone before your auction page has even loaded.
Ignore the temptation to make your auctions 'more exciting', and instead, concentrate every element on the page on your merchandise. The last thing you want to do is distract a serious buyer who might decide to purchase. Let them find their entertainment elsewhere!
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